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I survived my week as a single parent (but only just)!

When I visualised this blog before hubby went away I was going to sing the praises of how organisation and planning made the week run smoothly and without issue but in reality things looked a little different.

Day One was a Saturday and it all went pretty well. We dropped Daddy off at the airport (in the rain) and then went to swimming lessons (in the rain). The rain was annoying but not a huge problem. We had a pretty lazy day inside and I cooked a dinner that impressed the children so much they ate second helpings. (Hubby does all the cooking in the house so my cooking skills are out of practice.) I bathed the baby and had all children in bed and the kitchen clean by 8pm. I sat on the couch with the laptop, a glass of wine and netflix. At around 9pm I heard the baby crying out – it was a pretty small cry similar to the one she makes when she has stirred from her sleep. She usually settles herself and sleeps through the night but a few minutes later she cried out again so I went to check. To my horror she was covered in orange vomit with chunks of babybel and it was all over her bed. She had rubbed it into her hair, eyes and ears and the room smelt like regurgitated vanilla yoghurt.

Instinct and adrenaline kicked in and I hurried her to my ensuite where I laid her down on the bathmat in order to keep an eye on her while I prepared a bath. She was so pale and clearly looked sick. Two baths later (because the vomit smell had really stuck) and another vomit all over the bath towel and she was just ready to sleep but her bed was still covered in vomit.

Thankfully I have an amazing mum who lives only 10 minutes away so a quick call for help and she arrived to take over baby cuddles while I cleaned and sanitised. My mum cuddled baby while she slept until 2am when baby was finally ready to go back to bed. I went to bed around midnight after doing a couple of loads of washing so I would be ready for the boys to wake up in the morning.

Fast forward to Day Three (Monday) and I get a phonecall from my sister while walking the boys to school. “Mummy is really sick” – probably the same gastro bug as the baby. I called my mum after lunch and she sounded awful but she said she was coming to the end of it. The pattern seemed to indicate this thing is fast and furious and over in about 6 hours.

As I started meal preparation for dinner on Monday, Son Number Two started complaining of a sore tummy and shortly after Son Number One indicated similar pains. I quickly grabbed buckets for each of them thinking it was likely they had caught the gastro bug. I moved the rug and coffee table to accommodate quick dashes to the bathrooms, I laid out towels around the couches to catch bucket misses and I settled them down on the couches. Sure enough the gastro bug hit and for the next 8 hours I was shuttling between couch and bathroom and laundry to empty buckets, wash towels, rub backs, get new towels, stroke hair, eat my now cold dinner and care for a now healthy 10 month old. I was a demon posessed with the hand sanitiser and antibacterial wipes. I didn't touch anything without sanitising or washing my hands afterwards. I avoided being too close to the children but at one point managed to have one of them spit in my face...

I slept badly the next few nights as I expected to be woken by one of the children or my own stomach pains. By Day Five (Wednesday) I thought I was getting sick but a little bit of rest and I was back to normal again with minimal gastro bug invasion – certainly not the violent bug every one else had experienced. By Day Six (Thursday and Swimming Carnival Day) I was 100% and had clearly avoided the nastiness that had hit our home.

In summary, the week without hubby didn't turn out the way I had planned but I think my organisational skills still proved valuable. My laundry is neat and tidy so I had plenty of clean towels and buckets on hand. I had developed a meal plan which I was able to adjust throughout the week and I already had the groceries so I didn't have to worry about leaving the house with sick kids in tow. I'd already set the kids clothes out for school and organised bags for the swimming carnival so felt confident that my mum could step in and get the kids ready with minimal fuss (which thankfully she didn't need to do because of my germaphobia and obsession with hand sanitiser).

We survived but I'm not in a hurry to do it all again and I really need a massage, now.

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